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Taking the lead

At this time in your life, it's possible that a lot of things are changing. From going to college or living on your own to getting your first job, this period of your life is all about change. But sticking to your treatment routine should be one of the constants in your life.


on your own

A lot of freedom comes with living on your own and, along with it, a lot of responsibility. If you're away at college or have moved into your first apartment away from family, you may not have someone nearby to help support you. Below are some things to consider to help you stay well. They may seem obvious, but they can make a big difference.

  • Stick to a cystic fibrosis (CF) diet that has enough calories and fat each day
  • Look ahead in your daily schedule to find windows of time to do your treatments
  • If you know you'll be away for a day of classes or work, be sure to take whatever you need along with you, including high-calorie and high-fat snacks
  • Keep a planner or calendar up to date with your appointments and reminders to refill prescriptions. If possible, set up automatic refills


to college?

Help if you need it

Many schools have a dean of special services, or a similar staff member, who can help you make the most of your college experience. Schedule a meeting with him or her so they can help create a schedule that works for you and your treatment routines. He or she may be able to help you navigate getting a single dorm room or academic support. You can also ask your clinic social worker or other staff at your CF center for help getting any paperwork that may be required to receive additional support.

Get to know the campus health center

You will likely still be going to a CF center regularly, but the health center at your school can still be a valuable resource when you're not feeling your best. Set up a meeting with the health staff and introduce yourself. In addition, familiarize yourself with the phone number, location, and hours of your school's health center.

Talk to your roommate

If you have a roommate, letting him or her know about CF may help them understand what to expect as your roommate. Here are a few tips for the discussion:

  • Talk to your roommate before school. It may make you more comfortable to go into this new relationship knowing that your roommate understands that you have CF and what it means for your life
  • If you're already at school, take time away from the hustle and bustle. Try to have the conversation in private so you both are tuned into the conversation
  • Focus on what you have in common. This may help show your roommate that CF is just a small part of who you are

What's on your plate?

From classes to clubs—life at school can be busy. But having nutritious, high-calorie and high-fat food is important. Remember to have high-calorie and high-fat snacks on hand for long days away from your room or when you can't make it to the dining hall. A good diet can help you stay well and get the most out of school.

What to know before you go

This guide can help make the transition to college life easier. It includes tips for how to prepare, what to expect, nutrition, and more.


to a new CF center

When moving to a new area, you might need to change CF centers. Being prepared for the transition can help it go more smoothly.

Transition with care

Use this checklist as a guide to help your new CF center team get to know you and your medical history.

Check out the Resource Library

For the downloadable resources found on this page and others in Navigating Life With CF, visit the Resource Library. There you'll find information for caregivers and people living with CF that you may find helpful.